|Prosecution Witness: Deputy Bishop|
|Written by Mike Mayleben|
|Friday, 06 May 2011 18:37|
He has worked for the sheriff's dept. for about 10 years. He currently is assigned to S. Lebanon and Union Twp. He attended Great Oaks Police Academy and was a police officer before becoming a sheriff’s deputy. He has training sessions every year and is certified in CPR and was certified the night of Sarah’s death.
Direct Exam -- John Arnold
He was on routine patrol near Little Miami High School with a young cadet riding with him, when he was dispatched to the Widmer home. He was approaching the intersection near the high school when he was dispatched at 10:49 p.m. and arrived about three minutes later and began looking for street numbers on Crested Owl Court. He found the number on a post with two mailboxes but wasn't sure which house was the correct one. He ran to the door and began to knock but no one answered right away. He had a cadet riding with him so he told the cadet to run next door to see if help was needed there. Bishop opened the door and yelled "Sheriff's office, anyone home?" He heard nothing right away and quickly shut the door. Then tried again, and heard Ryan call out, “Up here.’ He started upstairs but stopped halfway up when he saw the barking dog. Ryan told him the dog was okay so he continued to the master bedroom and found a female victim lying on the carpet. She was on her back, with her feet at the threshold of the bathroom door. Her head was toward the bed. The victim was nude and appeared to be unconscious. He noticed the Bengals game was on the TV in the bedroom. He went to her right side, immediately knelt down and shook her arm, then began to check for a pulse at her wrist. He asked Ryan how long she'd been down. Ryan said he was downstairs watching TV but she had been upstairs for 15 to 30 minutes. She was lying on her back with her arms at her sides and was not breathing and had no pulse, so he started chest compressions but knew he needed some equipment. Bishop says her hair was damp but her body was dry.
A Hamilton Township EMT arrived at that point. He recognized some of the EMTs by sight but didn't know all of their names. He told them Sarah needed life-saving measures and asked them for gloves. An EMT knelt down where Bishop had been, and dropped his bag to begin chest compressions while asking Bishop for items from the medic bag. Bishop said he wasn't familiar with those items, so offered to switch positions and Bishop began chest compressions from her left side. His compressions continued until Sarah was taken out of the house. Bishop noted some pink discharge coming out of her nose and once chest compressions began, the volume of this pink discharge increased. More and more came out of her nose with each compression. Two bloody spots were on the carpet where Sarah had been lying. Bishop said Ryan paced around while he performed chest compressions.
After Sarah was taken from the house, he started to look around. He thought he would find evidence of drug abuse because ODs are typical causes of death that he's called to. He was looking for evidence of drug use, but found nothing as he continued looking around. He then began to discuss his findings with other deputies and police who had arrived. He wrote down the names of officers and other personnel that he knew but didn’t write the names of those he didn’t know. Officer Lisa Elliott took over when he said he didn't know all the firefighters. He saw no beads of moisture or other signs of wetness on Sarah except for her hair. He saw nothing glistening as if wet and did not touch Sarah's throat or press on it while doing compressions.
Ryan did not ask him anything else about his wife while they were together or express concern for her well-being or ask about her condition. Ryan also didn't offer help or ask him to please help her and did not try to kiss Sarah.
At one point he saw Ryan with a cell phone in his hand and Ryan said he needed to call his mother. He didn’t notice any scratches or injuries on Ryan. Bishop saw no water on the bathroom floor or large puddles in the tub. There were some signs of water in the tub but just droplets on the drain and a small area of water lying near the middle of the tub. He said he would have expected to see water on the bathroom floor but did not. He also did not touch anything, floors, towels, etc. to see if they were wet but he said you don't always have to touch something to tell if it's wet, it can be visually determined. He also saw no signs of moisture on the bedroom carpet except for the bloody spots where Sarah had been lying. He felt no moisture on his pants when he was kneeling on the floor . Arnold asked him about the boots he was wearing that night and Bishop said they could be slick on wet floors but the Widmer floors were not slick.
He did not personally conduct a thorough search but did conduct a minimal search. He found no wet clothing or other items that might have been concealed but admitted he did not search every area of the house. He recalled seeing Detective Chris Wong at the house but Wong wasn't dispatched there. Wong lives in the neighborhood and followed cruisers to the Widmer home on his way to work to offer assistance. He said Officer Rector arrived at 12:52 a.m. He is a K-9 officer and was asked to remove the Widmer dog but didn't know if Rector was dispatched to the home.
Cross Exam....Lindsey Gutierrez
Adam Campbell was the cadet on ride along with him that night and he was Bishop's responsibility. Bishop identified a photo of the double mail box outside the Widmer house but couldn't remember if he went to the left one or the right one. He sent Adam Campbell to the other house. Bishop said he couldn't remember what Campbell was doing while he performed chest compressions on Sarah and he didn’t see him again until after Sarah was taken out of the home. As far as he could recall, Officer Rector was the only officer that arrived after he [Bishop] was doing the entry log. All others arrived before he was asked to chart that list. Gutierrez showed him the log and Bishop admitted that Chris Wong was at the house but not listed on the log. He said officers are allowed to stop and help if they're on their way to work. Officers may not always inform the department where they are, but he agreed it would be a good idea.
Bishop said he was at the house for about 4 hours, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. He was looking for evidence of drug use and dumped the bathroom trash can out on the floor. Gutierrez showed a photo of the can. Bishop said he didn’t remember dumping it, but agreed that he's been blamed for it. He identified a photo of the Widmer's tub but said he didn't notice items that had been knocked into the tub [shown in the photo]. He said he was looking for water at that time. Gutierrez asked if he asked Ryan to help him move Sarah out of the bathroom doorway so the medics would have more room to work on her and he replied, “ absolutely not”. He checked the pulse on Sarah's wrist but agreed that it's proper procedure to check for a pulse at the carotid artery which he did not do, so he violated proper procedure. He pointed out where his knees were in relation to Sarah's body; they were alongside her torso, near where a blood spot is shown on the photo. He explained how he would be positioned to perform chest compressions. Compressions are done 100 x a minute. Once they are started, you can't stop.
Bronson allowed Bishop to demonstrate how he was positioned to perform chest compressions. He said that EMTs placed defibrillator pads on Sarah, but can't recall how they were positioned. He didn't recall her being rolled into his leg while kneeling alongside her. He wasn’t certain how much of Sarah’s chest his hand covered while doing compressions, but he said he didn’t touch her neck; his hand was on her sternum between her breasts at the nipple line.
When she was transported out of the house, he searched the garage and looked in both cars. There were no wet towels or clothes in the cars or the garage. There were no signs of a struggle anywhere in the garage.
Lisa Elliot, another officer who was at the scene, made the call to contact Lt. Jeff Braley but he didn't remember when Braley got there. Nothing further.
Re-Direct: John Arnold
Arnold asked him why he didn’t check for Sarah’s pulse at her carotid artery and he said he checked her pulse using her wrist because he already had hold of her arm, shaking it to see if she responded. He said it just seemed like the natural thing to do. He's responded to death scene investigations but never a homicide.